Guardian Cub – Gold Sale or Gold Sink?
People can be such irrational drama queens.
Blizzard will do something from a business standpoint, and folks lose their minds. Case in point, the Pet Store. When Blizzard started selling in-game pets for out of game money, people lost their shit. Blizzard became money-hungry in the eyes of the ignorant masses, and by offering vanity pets for dollars they were breaking the game, and killing puppies. It was so obviously just a matter of time before you could simply buy epics, buy levels, and buy gold. So obvious.
The fact that people actually bought the stuff en masse, thereby encouraging Blizzard to sell more pets/mounts, was lost on the masses.
Watching people unravel like this drives me up the wall. They make assumptions based on nothing but wild speculation, ignoring the fact that people have been buying TCG loot cards on eBay for hundreds of dollars since the card game first came out. The second it was Blizzard offering up vanity items for a reasonable price (compared to the loot cards), it was a crime against common decency. It was as if players were being ordered at gunpoint that they had to buy these stupid things or no more gameplay for them.
Fast forward to the Guardian Cub. Well once again, it was so obvious that Blizzard was doing this as a way to subvert the gold sellers. More importantly, it was Blizzard’s way of selling gold without actually selling gold. Why, Blizz even said as much, stating that people who bought the Guardian Cub could sell it on the Auction House since it wasn’t a soulbound item.
I saw the Guardian Cub as something else. It wasn’t Blizzard’s way of “selling gold”, since it wasn’t actually introducing more gold into the economy. What they were doing was selling a gold sink, rather than introducing a new one in-game. People were going to pay for this gold sink, and server economy was going to determine how much that sink was. Assuming, of course, that people bought the pet to sell rather than use like any other vanity pet.
For the first time, I think Blizzard did something a little underhanded. They played on the natural greed and laziness of the player base and planted that gold-making seed. Hell, even WoW Gold Bloggers knew it wasn’t going to be successful for long. After a couple of weeks, the pet price would bottom out and it wouldn’t be the gold grab people thought it would be.
Turns out it only took a couple of days.
I checked several servers on the Undermine Journal and after about three days, prices seem to be sitting at 5-8k gold. AHSpy did a better job and listed the average across all servers, which for U.S. servers appears to be about 8600 gold. Eight and a half thousand gold for a ten dollar pet. A quick Google search came back with gold sellers offering up prices of about one dollar per one thousand gold. Even the mouth breathers can do the math on this one.
The Guardian Cub seems to be showing a shift in Blizzard’s marketing approach. Instead of playing to people’s ego and vanity by giving them cute things to buy, Blizzard hit them in their greedy spot and scored in a big way. I would not be surprised if they announce at some point that the Guardian Cub is their best seller to date. If they do, I guarantee those sales aren’t just because that thing looks cute. Once again, the players will be to blame for the success of the pet.
And once again, the players will bitch about Blizzard selling it in the first place.